The Oklahoma City Thunder could very well come back and win their first round series with the Portland Trailblazers but after two games of the series its clear to anyone that is watching the best point guard on the floor is not Mr. Triple Double Russell Westbrook. In fact, he may not even be the second-best guard on the floor with the way that CJ McCollum has been playing. It’s time for the world to realize that Westbrook is not a franchise player he is a loser that knows how to fill a stat sheet.
Westbrook entered the league as the #4 pick out of UCLA. He was paired along-side the previous year’s #2 pick Kevin Durant, the soon to be Oklahoma City Thunder thought they had their dynamic duo that could lead them to a championship. What they really had was two talented players that were destined for an eventual clash. Durant and Westbrook were young enough and talented enough to get past their differences to carry them to the NBA Finals in 2011-12. After they made their run the Thunder disintegrated into a split personality. Westbrook did what he does, he took over despite what was best for the team. He was unable to understand what was going to take them to the next level. Westbrook inability to mesh with Kevin Durant has to be blamed on his own personality. Durant was able to assimilate himself into the star studded Warriors with minimal clashing.
With Durant gone Westbrook was signed long term to be the official face of the franchise and he has run with it. There is no argument that he is a future hall of fame player that can do almost anything athletically on a basketball court. When it comes time to make a big play do your really see Russell Westbrook making the big shots? Do you see him closing out games in the biggest moments. He has the personality of a great player and the ego of one but lacks that ability mentally to be “the guy”.
As I watched game two last night I kept wondering where this all-time great player was, this franchise cornerstone that made it acceptable for Kevin Durant and James Harden to leave. Since Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder are 3-10 in the playoffs while its “star” has been anything but. Russell Westbrook has shot just 38% from the field and 28% from 3 during those 13 games and last night a true leader showed what it takes mentally to be great. The Blazers team would do anything for Damion Lillard, they play with him and for him. The Thunder had the momentum early getting out to a nine point lead, but as the lead began to crumble Westbrook began to crumble along with it. When his team needed him most he disappeared. Westbrook final stat numbers are always going to be strong. He will get some points, rebounds, assists but he lacks the traits that make a player the best. Russell is now 30 years old, he convinced Paul George to stay in OKC, he has time to turn it around but right now he is a stat player rather than a winning player. Russell has a way to make you believe his is one of the best in the game, that is a mirage hidden behind a stat line.
Oh and his personality really sucks.